State of California

Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
December 21, 1999 Christine Baker
(415) 703-4220

Commission Approves Further Projects on California Health, Safety and Workers' Compensation

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC) approved plans for additional projects and activities at its public meeting on December 16, 1999 in Los Angeles.

The Commission voted to engage in a major study and evaluation of the judicial function of the Division of Workers’ Compensation. The study, when funded, will identify possible statutory changes to make the system work more efficiently and look at rules and practices that other judicial jurisdictions follow that have addressed problems such as calendaring, casefile movement, and proper staffing ratios among judges, secretaries, and clerical staff. DWC Administrative Director Richard Gannon noted that the Commission’s report of previous studies and the general perception in the community indicated concern with the judicial operation, and suggested that a study be conducted of the DWC judicial function by an independent group with the credibility and expertise, such as the Commission.

The Commission also voted to contract with the University of California to develop policies and strategies to help injured workers return to sustained employment. This new project will assist in the Commission’s ongoing efforts to reduce uncompensated wage loss incurred by injured workers. It will also enhance the upcoming CHSWC Forum on Workplace Health and Safety now scheduled for February 2001.

The Commission also decided to continue funding the California Study Group on Young Worker Health and Safety. The Study Group brings together key representatives from government agencies and statewide organizations involved with California youth employment and education issues to reduce work-related injuries and illnesses, foster awareness and skills in safety and health, and promote positive, healthy employment for youth.

The Commission, created by the workers' compensation reform legislation of 1993, is charged with overseeing the health and safety and workers' compensation systems in California and recommending administrative or legislative modifications to improve their operation. The Commission was established to conduct a continuing examination of the workers' compensation system and of the state's activities to prevent industrial injuries and occupational diseases and to examine those programs in other states.

Further information about the Commission and its activities may be obtained by writing to Christine Baker, Executive Officer, Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, 10th Floor, San Francisco, California 94102, by calling (415) 703-4220, or by faxing a request to (415) 703-4234. Information is also available at www.dir.ca.gov.

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